Album: Sergio Mendes, Encanto (Concord/Starbucks)

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The Independent Culture

Old smoothie Mendes gets jiggy on a selection of bossa-favourites with a raft of guest stars including the ubiquitous and Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas, Natalie Cole and Herb Alpert.

The recordings were made partly in Rio and Bahia and partly in California, where the studio band included Alphonso Johnson. Opening track, "The Look of Love" with rap/vocals by Fergie, is a deliciously moreish funky-fusion, and for the first third or so, the combination of Sergio's Rhodes with the hip-hopped production style is terrific. Then it goes all smooth jazz on you. Not bad, though.

Pick of the Album: 'The Look of Love': rap, Rhodes, samba-samples and whistles